The Not Vanishing Deductible

Back in 2010, I had some damage done to my house following a lot of rain when a neighbor’s tree uprooted.  At the time, my insurance company referred a company to repair the damage.  The work was done and the company went on their way.

I had never filed a homeowner’s claim until then and I understood that I owed a deductible, but never received an invoice.  I waited for one to come from the company or my insurance provider, but one never did.  A few months later, I went in to speak with my insurance agent about another matter and mentioned it to her.  She was not able to tell me why I had not been invoiced or access which provider had done the work, so she just said to let it go until they made contact.

A couple of weeks ago they finally made contact.  They sent me a letter threatening to take me to court over the balance.  I had filed my taxes and knew I owed them, so I was just waiting for the money to come in.  I wrote the check out the other night and literally have it in my purse right now.  I knew I owed them and would have paid it long ago if they had ever tried to contact me; threatening to take me to court was not necessary.

So today, I returned to my desk after lunch and got a call from the contractor.  I had missed the call and listened to the voicemail from a girl in their office.  The girl was very unprofessional and wanted to know why I hadn’t paid and went on to tell me they would take action if payment arrangements were not made.

There are a lot of things that I will let slide, but I hate to get personal calls at work-especially that kind of call.  I called the girl back and told her that I would have gladly paid if they had ever invoiced me before and that I would be sending payment.  I let her know that I would have done so without being threatened with court.  I went on to ask how they had gotten my employer’s information and apparently they had a couple of numbers for me.  So they decide to call me at work first?  Why didn’t the call at any point in the past two years?

Maybe I am crazy, but I do work in sales.  I have a few suggestions for the contractor:

  1. Invoice upon the completion of a project.
  2. Follow up with clients in a timely manner, especially if a bill is unpaid.
  3. Train your staff on how to speak with clients.

I was not unsatisfied with the job that the company provided.  But their business acumen leaves a lot to be desired.  While I could not remember their name before I got the invoice, I definitely remember it now and would not recommend them to anyone.


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